A scintillating final effort earned Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel his first pole position of the season, outqualifying Lewis Hamilton by a healthy 0.2s margin. Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc will line up in third on tomorrow's starting grid.
Q1 started off in a fairly straightforward session as both Williams were yet again the first to take the track. All went normal with Ferrari and Mercedes taking the top spots in the leaderboard as it was mainly Racing point and Alfa Romeo who were battling it out to see who would get through to Q2.
Eventually, only Antonio Giovinazzi made it through to Q2, eliminating both Williams and Racing Points, as well as his own team mate, Kimi Raikkonen, who won't be happy with a 17th spot in qualifying today.
The second part of qualifying saw Mercedes take control quickly, with Hamilton and Bottas closely matched at the top of the timing sheet after their runs. Bottas however got involved in a near spin out of Turn 2, only narrowly avoiding the barriers that would have almost certainly meant an early end of qualifying for him.
A few minutes later, and just as Q2 was ending, Kevin Magnussen was unable to avoid contact with the wall of champions. After his right rear wheel bumped into the wall, his car shot to the left and into the pitwall, before crossing the circuit again. The event ruined attempts for several cars behind him, the first of which was Romain Grosjean, who saw a decent effort go to waste.
Max Verstappen was another victim, and realized it was going to be P11 for him as he had to abort his final attempt.
The final session was a tense affair, that once again saw Hamilton take control. His first run was good enough for pole, and even his second was better, but it was eventually Vettel who found even more laptime on his second outing, taking pole by 2 tenths of a second, and confirming on an extremely power sensitive track that Ferrari does indeed have a power advantage.
Charles Leclerc ended up third, and will be joined on the second start line by Daniel Ricciardo, whose 4th place qualifying is his best for Renault yet.
Pierre Gasly was 5th fastest, ending up ahead of Bottas as the Finn really had a difficult final few laps.
Hulkenberg in 7th got out-qualified by his team mate, but completes an extremely strong qualifying result for Renault. Combined with Norris in 8th, and Sainz in 9th, this means all Renault powered cars were firmly in the top 10 as well.
Kevin Magnussen finally completely the top 10, but it remains to be seen whether his badly damaged Haas car can be repairing without requiring a new chassis or gearbox, which would in turn mean some penalties, and a starting position lower down the grid.
|5||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:12.023||1:11.196||1:11.079||17|
|8||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:11.780||1:11.735||1:11.863||20|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:11.750||1:11.572||1:13.981||19|
|10||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:12.107||1:11.786||-||15|
|11||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:11.619||1:11.800||-||12|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:11.965||1:11.921||-||17|
|13||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:12.122||1:12.136||-||16|
|14||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:12.020||1:12.193||-||16|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:12.109||DNF||-||15|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:12.197||-||-||6|
|17||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:12.230||-||-||10|
|18||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:12.266||-||-||9|
|19||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:13.617||-||-||10|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:14.393||-||-||10|